LL Iar sin do-berar dias éorna la Cormac i crêcht dia chrêchtaib &
duirp i crécht aile & gâe i crêcht aile, coro chnessaig tairsiu & co
mbaí bliadain i ssirg.
BB Is iar sin do-beir Cormac deis eorna la i crecht do crechtaibh taidg
& duírb i crecht ele & gai go n-eim natrach isin tres crecht, coro
cnesaig tairsiu sin & co mbaí bliadain a seirc galair.
Lec Is iar sin do-ber Cormac deis eorna la i crecht do chrechtaib taidc
& dobeir duirb i crecht n-aile do & dobeir gai co n-eim nathrach isin
treas crecht, coro chnesaig tarrsu sin & co mbai bliadain a seirc galair.
Here’s what I got:
After that an ear of barley is brought by Cormac into a wound of Tadc’s
wounds and a worm into another wound and a spear with snake venom into
the third wound, until the skin formed across them, and he was in decline for a
BB and Lec - It is after that Cormac brings an ear of barley into a wound...
I don’t know what to make of ‘la’ in these two sources.
Duirp – looks like a variant of ‘dorb/doirb’ “small insect or worm (esp. one that
lives in water, opp. to ‘cruim’ earth-worm)”
DIL C 268.2 in the entry for “cnesaigid, heals” quotes our text and
translates “the skin formed”. ‘cnes’ means skin. A technical term that seems
to fit ‘cnesaigid’ is ‘epithelialize’ since skin is technically called ‘epithelium’.
‘serg’ is an o-stem masculine noun translated “decline, wasting sickness”. DIL
S 191.7 mentions “in the same sense serg galuir” and gives several examples
of uses of the phrase. ‘galar’ translates “sickness, disease”.
I wasn’t sure whether ‘bliadain’ was the nominative subject of ‘co mbaí’
(‘and it was a year’.... or ‘ and a year was’. Or could it be a dative of time?
Or a nominative word indicating time?
Does this mean that the skin covered over the barley, worm, and spear as
well so that they were left in Tadc’s body forever??
gai go n-eim natrach -- I wondered if this could mean ‘a spear to the snake-
like handle’ referring to a metal snake around the handle. The alternate
translation (‘with snake venom’) made more sense. Also, I thought a spear
plunged all the way to the handle would probably kill Tadc. Where did Cormac
get the venom? Was there a trade in snake venom from Great Britain to
I expect barley would not be a good thing in a wound. Packing it into a
wound would hurt, and it would tend to crumble and I would expect festering
around the foreign bodies in the wound.
The worm might be a good thing, if it was a maggot that eats dead
tissue. You can buy medical-grade maggots for the treatment of dirty
wounds. I read a story by a military doctor in Italy during WWII who went to
the battlefield to put a cast on open arm and leg wounds after soldiers had
lain out there for hours. The maggots in the cast cleaned the wound; the
doctor cut off the cast in the hospital when he heard the buzzing of the flies
and a clean, healing wound was revealed. But a worm from a stagnant pond
might bring a lot of harmful bacteria with it.
Obviously the snake venom would make Tadc sick in general, irregardless of
its effect on wound healing.